Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fashioning a Table Where Each Has a Name: I Miss the Mark

I believe Cyrus Cassells is correct when he prays, in his magnificent poem "Down from the Houses of Magic,"

O grant us strength to fashion a table 
Where each of us has a name – 

In Soul Make a Path Through Shouting [Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon, 1994]).

And  because I share Cassells' prayer, I think it's important for me to tell all of you about a way in which I have significantly failed to live up to my ideals in recent days.  Because that living up has to do, quite precisely, with this blog, I feel it's incumbent on me to make this statement here, on my blog.

I've been unnecessarily sharp in recent days to someone posting comments here, who does not deserve my sharp retorts.  I'm all the more ashamed of my quickness to carp when I remember how unexpectedly, how graciously, kind the person to whom I've responded churlishly here has been on two occasions, when he/she sent me, out of the blue, gifts through the mail.

One of these was (further embarrassment for me here!) a delivery of flowers for my birthday--flowers that have to have been expensive and which I imagine stretched this particular poster's budget in ways he/she can probably not afford.  I'm enjoying these beautiful flowers day by day following my birthday.

All the more reason I ought to have been holding my tongue and not responding with unnecessary vim to statements that reveal strong differences in viewpoint between me and someone commenting here, who has every right to his/her opinion, and who challenges me to think more carefully about what I take for granted.  It is good to learn, over and over, that one's own way of looking at the world is not the one and only way.

And to remember that the table we want to fashion in the world in which we live is a table at which each of us has a name.  

That fasting I've committed myself to do, about which I blogged yesterday?  It'll be for the conversion of my own sorry heart, as well as an act of solidarity with those living on the margins in the U.S. right now.  I can't promise that the conversion of heart will dull the sharp edge of my unruly tongue, which my parents would surely tell you, if they were alive today, has never lacked for quick rejoinders.

But I'll keep praying.  And trying.   And I owe a big, big apology to an amazingly kind human being whose faith is deeper than mine, and who has not deserved my reproaches on this blog in recent days.

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